Words & Deeds

Boise could get new 10-week ‘alternative’ summer concert series. Yowza, Alive After Five

Jack’s Urban Meeting Place glows at night in the Downtown Boise skyline. The JUMP Amphitheater is the planned site of a new 10-week concert series next summer if a grant comes through for Boise All-ages Movement Project.
Jack’s Urban Meeting Place glows at night in the Downtown Boise skyline. The JUMP Amphitheater is the planned site of a new 10-week concert series next summer if a grant comes through for Boise All-ages Movement Project. doswald@idahostatesman.com

Are you a summer concert junkie? Do free outdoor shows in Boise make you drool, fool?

Then JUMP to it. Vote.

Local nonprofit Boise All-ages Movement Project needs the community’s support to deliver a new, 10-week concert series next summer at Jack’s Urban Meeting Place Amphitheater, 1000 W. Myrtle St.

B-AMP managing director Nathan Walker has submitted a proposal for a $25,000 matching grant from the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a private family entity whose mission includes reinvigorating public spaces through live music. Go to levittamp.org to read the Boise proposal and vote. You have until 6 p.m. Nov. 20. Levitt will choose 15 winners from the top 25 vote recipients, then announce them Dec. 18.

Do it. My vote bumped Boise from No. 37 to No. 35.

If the $25,000 Levitt Amp Award happens, Walker says he’s confident it can be matched through in-kind contributions from JUMP, sponsorships and other funding.

The series would focus on newer, emerging acts, he says — not unlike the approach at Treefort Music Fest, the annual March showcase Downtown. Boise Rock School bands would open each show.

It sounds marginally, um, hipper than Alive After Five, the summer tradition at The Grove plaza. But it wouldn’t be Alive After Five’s enemy, Walker says.

“More like an alternative than a competitor,” he explains.

Or an annoying younger cousin, I’m thinking?

Alive After Five, for all its pluses, is not a consistently rewarding hangout for passionate music fans. If you want cute kiddos in fountains? You got it. Or Boiseans blabbing over beers? Sure.

But a truly appreciative live-music atmosphere?

“To be frank,” Walker says, “some of the struggles I’ve had personally with Alive After Five ... it’s just the vibe that has happened. It’s just less about the music, which is fine. But this would be an alternative where we would like to see more of the focus on the live music aspect.”

Don’t worry, though, Gramps. Beer would be available at the B-AMP series. The JUMP Amphitheater is grassy, too, which would make you feel like you’re at home in your freshly mowed lawn.

Either way, the JUMP Amphitheater really should be utilized more. “It’s a really cool space,” Walker says.

He submitted a list of possible headliners to Levitt. Things change, but either way, it gives us an idea of where he’s coming from: The Seshen, Telekinesis, Bells Atlas, Y La Bamba, Nora Jane Struthers, Jupiter & Okwess, The Goon Sax, Michael Rault, Chanti Darling, Ural Thomas and The Pain, Deep Sea Diver, Soccer Mommy, Prom Queen, Cass McCombs, Boygenius, Sera Cahoone and Tacocat.

So if your election vote didn’t feel all that powerful Tuesday, try again. Rock the Boise music vote. It’s a win-win. You can go to Alive After Five on Wednesdays, then the B-AMP/JUMP series on Saturdays. (Saturdays would be a definite possibility, Walker says.)

“Our whole thing is there’s more all-ages spaces, more live music happening,” Walker says. “It’s not a competition thing. Just more options.”

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